Article 370 Has Been Abrogated
When Gausia stares at the barbed wires that
spring from the earth, from revolutions dead and
buried six feet under, she wonders not
why they straitjacket her so. Instead, she
wonders if they are industrial meshes padded
with filter aids, at what temperature they turn
into superconductors, or if they can be plucked
and experimented upon at the University
which she sees in diamond-shaped pieces
through the wires that zig and zag. She wonders
how the wires withstand the temperamental weather
of political debates and the storms they bring,
how the thunderous claps of gunshots
and pellets, pouring stones and tears
don’t sway the wires in the least. Her parched
fingers ache to drink some sunshine,
to reach out and feel the curves and contours
of the fence that keeps her indoors. For while
the men in suits may study the wires through
the Constitution and Savarkar, the Preamble
and Ambedkar, Gausia continues to study
the fence through her laminated
PhD in Chemical Engineering degree.
wake up to stale air
thick as sponge in your mouth.
clean it out.
pluck out the pieces of yesterday
stuck in your skin, one by one,
and then begin.
begin combing through the years
to find the one you’re looking for.
it will stand out
like a smug strand of white hair floats
in a sea of young, black locks.
find that moment again
when Akka walked to you,
wearing a smile
that matched the bottom half
of the earth—curved and steady.
her words “it’s okay”
rolled out like a soft towel
and wiped your tears.
you could walk on
and not lose yourself in the crowd.
take that moment out
with two fingers, place it
in the bowl of skin
between your eyebrows
like a bindi
be ready to step out
and stare today
right in the face.
Saranya Subramanian is a 22-year-old literature aficionado based in Bombay. She spends her time singing to herself and watching Madhubala videos (sigh!). And she writes because, well, it’s all that she can really do.